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Give and Take

lenny.jpg For the last month or so, nearly every day on my way to work, I've seen this advertisement on the subway, which reads: "Jerry Orbach gave his heart and soul to acting, and the gift of sight to two New Yorkers." The ad, which encourages people to register to become eye donors, includes a picture of the late song-and-dance man, best known for his long run on TV's Law & Order.

So organ donation was on my mind when I read this story last week. Apparently South Carolina lawmakers are considering offering inmates up to 180 days off of their sentences as incentive to voluntarily donate organs or bone marrow. Obviously, there is a shortage of viable organs donated for those in need—as of last Friday, there were about 95,000 people waiting for transplants in the U.S. alone—but there are clearly ethical issues concerning a program like this as well.

Click the links below for more information about organ donation and those waiting for transplants. (The myths link addresses serious concerns, in addition to that strangely pervasive urban legend about waking up in a bathtub full of ice...)

Organ Donation Statistics (customizable)
Myths About Organ Donation

Related: New Trend in Organ Donation Raises Questions

Jerry Orbach photo from kathryn's Flickr page


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